Sailor and mountaineer
Versatile young South African Monde Sitole has traversed the world both as a sailor and a mountain climber. Based in Cape Town, he is a global youth ambassador for A World at School, an organisation that together with its network of amabassadors performs grassroots education work in 85 countries.
The inspirational 27-year-old was one the first youngsters to attend school on board the SV Concordia tallship, an international school based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Sitole covered many sea miles while attending classes, sailing from Cape Town to Namibia, St Helena, Ascension Island, Fernando Island, Brazil, Trinidad, Tobago, Bermuda and eventually, London. He then completed his Competent Crew Certificate through the Good Hope Sailing Academy, and is now working towards becoming a yachtmaster.
“It was after this adventure that I was chosen to partake in the Mike Horn Young Explorers Camp in Switzerland, where I met Mike Horn, who educated us on alternative energy resources and conservation,” says Sitole. “We also sailed on Lake Geneva.”
While in Switzerland he became fascinated with high-altitude mountaineering and responsible exploration, and Everest is just one peak in his sights. “After my time in Switzerland, I conceptualised my Dare2Dream expedition to scale the highest peaks on each continent and ski [to] both the South and North Pole unassisted. I succeeded with Kilimanjaro and Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe, and recently returned from Denali in Alaska — the highest peak in North America.
“I completed my advanced mountain walking certificate with Ventureforth Mountaineering School and have also opened my very own adventure club in my township, Khayelitsha.”
The Desert Rose Adventure Club falls under the umbrella of the Monde Sitole Educational Strategies Foundation, and its vision is to produce “high-altitude sportsmen, future Olympians and compassionate beings”.
“I want to develop a culture of achievement and excellence by promoting an impactful, meaningful, comprehensive, holistic, world-class education and training system that is engaging and integrated,” says Sitole.
He has frequently appeared in national and international broadcast and print media. His accolades include being nominated as “One of nine bravest men we know” by Men’s Health magazine and for South Africa’s “Heart of gold bravest men we know” awards hosted by Klipdrift and Intrepid Explorer magazine. He has also won an honourary award for adventure at the City of Cape Town’s Khayelitsha Awards. — Rebecca Haynes